"This simple and quick side dish or snack is pronounced ‘Kaylaywaylay’. It’s a common street food from roadside chop bars and food stalls in Accra. There are a few different recipes out there for this dish and it will go by different names in different parts of West Africa, but the principle is the same – ripe plantain fried in spices. It can be as simple as marinating the plantain in fresh grated ginger, minced onion, chilli flakes and salt, or a smoky, aromatic version using nutmeg and ginger. Here’s my recipe, which combines the best of what I’ve tasted on the streets of Kaneshie (Accra). The secret to good fried plantain is to choose it at the correct ripeness – this is when the plantain is mottled black and is more black than yellow but still firm and as fleshy as the skin on the inside of your wrist." - Zoe Adjonyoh
Serves 4-6 as a side dish
6 ripe plantains
4cm piece fresh ginger, grated (or 1 tbsp ground ginger)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of rock salt (or add more to taste)
Enough sunflower or vegetable oil to fry the plantain so that it can float
1. Peel the plantain by cutting off the tips on each end and slicing through the skin lengthways, then use your hands to peel off the skin. Cut the plantains through the middle lengthways into two long halves and dice those halves into 2cm squares or bite sized chunks so they cook evenly and quickly without burning.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli flakes, cayenne and salt. Coat the plantain in the spice mix and leave to sit for at least 20 minutes – you can also cover with cling film and put into the fridge for longer to soak up the marinade.